As stated by Healthy People 2010, historically, childhood vaccination rates have been lower in certain racial and ethnic populations, compared to the white population. Vaccination rates for preschool children in racial and ethnic groups with lower vaccination rates, however, have been increasing at a more rapid rate, significantly narrowing the gap. Efforts need to be intensified, particularly to increase vaccination coverage for children living in poverty. Substantial numbers of under-vaccinated children remain in some areas, particularly the large urban areas with traditionally under-served populations, creating great concern because of the potential for outbreaks of disease. In addition to very young children, many adults are at increased risk for vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccination against pneumococcal infections and influenza among persons aged 65 years and older has increased slightly for African Americans and Hispanics. The coverage in these groups, however, remains substantially below the general population. For example, influenza vaccination rates for whites were 66 percent in 1997, while for African Americans and Hispanics; rates were only 45 percent and 53 percent, respectively. With immunizations being a leading health indicator, vaccination of these populations will improve the health of Florida citizens. The leading health indicators reflect the major health concerns in the United States.
Data and Statistics|